5 December 2016
RMT Press Office:
RMT to lobby Chris Grayling speech in middle of latest Southern guards strike - RMT pledges to fight any moves to privatise Network Rail
RAIL UNION RMT is to lobby a major speech on rail policy by Transport Secretary Chris Grayling in Central London tomorrow evening – 6th December – bang smack in the middle of the latest phase of action by guards on Southern Rail in their fight for safety.
Mr Grayling will be making his key note speech on “a rail policy for the 21st century” to the Policy Exchange at 6.30pm at 8-10 Great George Street SW1P 3AE on Tuesday 6th December. RMT will assemble outside the venue from 6pm to make the case in defence of the role of the guard and for safe trains for all across the whole rail network. The union has also been warned that Chris Grayling will use the speech to open the door to the phased privatisation of Network Rail and the rail infrastructure – turning the clock back to the lethal days of Railtrack.
General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“ It is crystal clear that the responsibility for sorting the total chaos on Southern rests with the Transport Secretary himself. He has repeatedly refused to meet with the trade unions to map out a way forwards. The union will now take our case to him directly at tomorrow’s invitation-only event.
“Mr Grayling and his Government are hell bent on ripping to shreds the safety regime on our railways, not just by axing guards but also by turning the clock back to the lethal days of the privatised Railtrack on our infra-structure. If the Tories think that we will sit on the side lines while they drag us back to the carnage of Hatfield and Potters Bar then they need to think again.
“As General Secretary of Britain’s specialist transport union I meet with ministers on a regular basis and it is frankly absurd that Chris Grayling has refused point blank to meet with us while the Southern Rail dispute, which he has the power to settle as it is a direct management contract with the Government, rages on. Running our railways by central Government diktat is a recipe for disaster.”